The Masonic Hall

posted by: Gabi Minnich in History

5-21 W King St. Lancaster, PA 17603

In 1798, Freemason Lodge No. 43 partnered with the Borough of Lancaster to fulfill the need for a meeting house. They agreed that the circa 1799 Masonic Lodge Hall would be adjoined to Lancaster’s Old City Hall, the oldest remaining building within Lancaster’s Penn Square. These buildings were later adjoined by the Locher building, built in the 1850s. By 1808, Freemason Lodge members were able to occupy the central space and commence meetings where they would continue to do so for over 160 years.

Many of the interior decorative elements that the Hall boasts today were not included in the original construction plans. It was not until 1930, almost 125 years after the Hall’s original construction, that the interior was renovated to its current grandeur when a decorative committee was tasked with delivering a space worthy of admiration. The two-story building’s crown jewel is the Grand Hall on the third floor that features an elaborate ceiling mural.

As part of the 1930 renovation, the hall’s “Masonry Triumphant” themed mural was created and completed by G. L. Zambon of New York. Still visible today, the mural is made up of scenes and symbols recognized and inspired by the Freemasons. After its renovation, the hall was used as a meeting space until 1973 whereupon the growing lodge moved to its current facility located at 213 West Chestnut Street.

In 1932, while the hall underwent redecoration on the second-floor, the structure’s ground-floor began its own transformative renovation. Led by Lancaster native C. Emlen Urban, the renovation was put in motion to develop ground-level retail space for use along West King Street. Urban’s design incorporated arched storefront windows with keystone detailing to appropriately coordinate with the Masonic Hall’s historic upper-level fenestration.

The city of Lancaster took possession of the buildings in 1973 after the freemasons moved to their current facility. Lancaster City later deeded the Masonic Hall, the Locher Building, and Old City Hall to the nonprofit Heritage Center of Lancaster County. Architectural drawings from the building’s 1932 renovation, showcasing Urban’s vision, were preserved in the museum’s collection of artifacts until its closure in 2011, at which point the three buildings were reverted back to city ownership under the terms of the 1973 deed. Of the three-building mentioned afore, the city has chosen only to retain possession of Old City Hall.

Recently acquired by Ecklin in 2024, the Masonic Hall and the Locher buildings’ ground floors are still being used as intended during the 1932 renovation and is home to beloved Lancaster retailers. The Masonic Hall is slated to be restored for use by the community as an addition to subsidiary company Ecklin Events’ portfolio of historically significant event venue destinations. It will be an available venue location alongside the Ballroom at the Steven’s School, Conestoga House & Gardens, the Griest Building Observation Deck, and forthcoming event venue Trust46 at the Historic Farmer’s Trust building on East King Street.


Introduction – lodge no. 43, F. & A. M. (n.d.-a).

Lodge No. 43. First Masonic District of PA. (n.d.).

Stuhldreher, T. (2016, November 21). Lancaster city sells 2 historic west king street buildings. LancasterOnline. Retrieved January 17, 2024, from

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.